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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
3 John 1

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

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Verses 1-8

We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

Next to the health of the soul, the health of the body is the greatest blessing. And, among the promises of God in Christ, there are many sweet ones in the Word of God, which are in the covenant, as they relate to the body. See a string of them in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 . And when a child of God, regenerated by the Holy Ghost, is brought, by divine teaching, to build everything upon Christ, for time and for eternity, everything must prosper, for everything must be a blessing. (Romans 8:28 ) In temporal things, the child of God hath the sanctified use of all. If the goods of this world abound, there is the covenant-love, and the covenant-grace to accompany them; that, like Gaius, the man of God is enabled by the Lord to do faithfully whatsoever he doeth, to the brethren of the Church with him, or to the strangers which belong to the other churches of the saints from abroad. And, while he doth good to all men, he doth it especially to them that are of the household of faith. And, if the Lord exerciseth him with adversity, still grace gives a sanctifying quality to take out all the bitterness of it. So that, ``though the fig-tree do not blossom, neither fruit be found in the vine; though the labor of the olive fail, and the fields yield no meat; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herds in the stall; yet, the child of God can, and will say, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation''. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 )

And in respect to spiritual things, everything here is blessed. The child of God is blessed with the Father's love, the Savior's grace, and the Holy Ghost's fellowship. He hath pardon, mercy, peace, in the blood of the cross. He hath continual manifestations of divine love. Jesus comes to bless him, to comfort him, to encourage him, and to make himself known to him otherwise than he doth to the world. Yea, who shall describe the out-pourings of divine love, or the incomings of divine grace, the child of God is continually receiving from the Lord, who is blessing him with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus?

And in relation to eternal blessings, he hath not only the promise of the life that now is, but of that which is to come. Indeed, eternal life is begun in his soul. For he that hath the Son of God hath life. He enjoys it now by faith. ``For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen''. (Hebrews 11:1 ) And faith is the earnest given by the Spirit of glory. So that, as John tells the beloved Gaius, where the soul prospereth, the body must have the sanctified enjoyment of all things, which grace sanctifies to prosper also.

Verses 1-14


After his usual salutation, the Apostle tells his beloved Gaius of his desires, both for his temporal and spiritual prosperity. He commends him for his kindness to the brethren. He remarks of the opposition made to the Church, by a man called Diotrephes. He commends another man of the name of Demetrius. And concludes his Epistle with greetings from friends.

Verses 9-14

But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

Everything contained within the bosom of these verses is fully explained as it stands before us. I only beg the reader to remark with me, the striking contrast between Diotrephes and Demetrius. They are known to us only by name. But how different their characters! How opposed while they lived! How differently regarded when they died. How opposite in the esteem of the Church, through all ages! And how everlastingly opposite, if dying as they are here said to have lived, through all the eternal world? Reader! How blessed to have a good report of all men; yea, and of the truth itself, which is Christ. (John 14:6 ) Oh! For the whisper of Jesus, in a dying hour, to confirm his grace in the soul, as manifested in a living hour; that both in life and in death the soul be found in him. (Isaiah 43:1-4 )


What a beautiful view is here afforded, of the beloved Apostle in his pastoral office, addressing the faithful Gaius, beloved in the Lord. To behold the venerable saint of God, amidst all the infirmities of declining years, thus blessing God, and blessing the servant of God, in his wishes both for spiritual and temporal prosperity.

But while we look at John, who justly commands our veneration and our love, let us look infinitely above John, and behold John's Lord still blessing all his church; and every Gaius of his redeemed family below, with blessings in himself. Precious, precious Jesus! We desire to praise thee for all that is lovely, in the disciple whom Jesus loved; for all that is lovely in John, was, and is derived from thee! Lord! Hasten on thy blessed purposes, and bring on thy glorious day when thou wilt come to be glorified in thy saints, and to be admired in all that believe! To thee, Lord, it belongs, to keep thy Church from falling, and to present it faultless before the presence of thy glory with exceeding joy. In the blessed hope of thy appearing, may all thy Church in thee, and through thee, daily ascribe to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Israel's God in covenant, endless praises. Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 3 John 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/3-john-1.html. 1828.
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